Jim Corbett National Park, which is a part of the larger Corbett Tiger Reserve, a Project Tiger Reserve lies in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand. The magical landscape of Corbett is well known and fabled for its tiger richness. Established in the year 1936 as Hailey National Park, Corbett has the glory of being India’s oldest and most prestigious National Park. It is also being honored as the place where Project Tiger was first launched in 1973. This unique tiger territory is best known as the father who gave birth of the Project Tiger in India to protect the most endangered species and the Royal of India called Tigers.
Spans over an extent of 520 square kilometers, its whole area comprises of hills, marshy depressions, riverine belts, grasslands and large lake. It is among the few tiger reserves in India that allows overnight stays in the lap of the National Park. Nature watch and wildlife viewing in the park is done in an open four wheeler Jeep and on elephant back. Sheltering a healthy population of tigers and rare species like Otters and the endemic fish eating crocodile, the national park is one of the most sought after destinations for the wildlife buffs. Dhikala, situated at the border of the extensive Patil Dun valley, is the most popular destination in Corbett because of its superb location and sheer abundance of wildlife present.
If you love bird watching then Corbett is virtual haven for such tourists. Corbett and its adjoining area is a home to more than 650 species of residents and migratory birds. Particularly Dhikala is fine place to look for birds of prey, more than over 50 species of raptors alone shows the healthy biodiversity of the area. Their multiplex behavior is intriguing and their varied songs are very much pleasing to the ear. In a nutshell, this finest national park of India is well known for rich and varied wildlife including royal Bengal tiger, elephant, four to five species of deer and rich birdlife.
In and Around
Corbett Jungle Museum (Corbett Home)
Corbett Museum is the place where Jim Corbett stayed during winters and the museum has his books like Man Eating Tiger, Man Eating Tiger of Kumaon etc. The museum also offers his personal items like, gun, fishing net, cap, bag and some of his photographs with tigers. The entry ticket of the museum is Rs. 5 for adult and Rs. 1 for student.
Garjia Maa Temple is situated in the mid of Kosi River near Ramnagar. The temple holds great importance amongst the locals. Almost every couple who visits Corbett National Park or Ramnagar visits this temple of Garjia Maa to take their blessings.
It is situated in the Kyari village to the east of the river Kosi. Kyari Camp is set in a village deep in the jungles of exotic locales of Kumaon region.
Sitabani Forest Reserve
This site is a birdwatchers’ paradise and there is an ashram tucked away in the jungle. Panthers and other wildlife move to Sitabani when the tourist season is on in Corbett. This is an ideal place for doing wildlife photography.
About 20 kms from Ramnagar is a place called Seeta Bani. Legend has it that Devi Sita, the consort of Lord Rama had entered into the lap of Mother Earth here. A fair is held here during Ram Navmi.
Here you will watch the educational details about floras and faunas of Corbett Park with trophies of naturally dead animals i.e. Tiger, Leopard, Tusker, Deer, Sambhar and Crocodile etc.
The area in and around Bijrani once formed part of a shooting block. During the British period it was much famed for the quality of game hunting that it offered to shikaris.
This is the most famous location in the park as it offers the best views of the stunning valleys. The traditional rest house over here was constructed hundreds of years ago.
For those who enjoy watching the birds, this dam is a must visit as the location welcomes various migratory waterfowls.
The peaceful and tranquil environment around here is hard to match.
Safari Zones in Corbett National Park
A densely wooded and grassland habitat, it makes for excellent bird viewing. The Great Hornbill is found in abundance here. Jhirna is home to a population of sloth bear and wild elephants and a growing tiger population. A large grove of “Flame of the forest” adds drama to Jhirna. A strong prey base of nilgai, cheetal, sambhar and the wild boar also makes it an attractive area for the big cats, while a resident wild elephant and sloth bear population offer great sighting opportunities.
These forests range from those of pure Sal on the upper reaches, to deciduous mixed forests in the valley, along with three major grasslands. It sustains a variety of herbivores, and has a wide network of jungle roads, making Bijrani excellent tiger sighting territory. carved out of a shooting block, with a wide network of criss–crossing jungle roads, offers excellent tiger sighting opportunity. On Corbett’s eastern boundary, Bijrani’s forests are dense with a wide variety of vegetation: of pure Sal forests on the upper reaches and tropical moist, deciduous mixed forests in the valley and plains. Excellent water availability throughout the year and wide grasslands make it an exceptional habitat for a strong prey base and its predator.
This is the largest and most varied zone in Corbett, offering the best opportunities for overnight stays. Dhikala contains a diverse range of habitats: its higher reaches suit Ghoral, a goat antelope, while the Gharial and Maggars, as well as the great Mahaseer, inhabit the rivers below. The hog deer is also exclusive to Dhikala. Dhikala offers the most varied terrain in all and, if booked well in advance, the widest range of Forest Rest House accommodations in the park. This block of forest has the Ramganga river stretch through its middle, emptying into a wide, multiple–necked reservoir.
This range is famous for bird watching and fishing “Mahasheer”, a large fish species. Durga Devi is at north–east corner of Corbett Park, birds species like maroon orile, great headed fishing eagle, little forktail and many more. Mandal and Ramganga river in this forest attracts wild elephants, leopards and Tigers.
A centre range in the Corbet National Park, Sonanadi range is famous for wildlife beauty with amazing flora and fauna. Over 550 species of birds are recorded here with leopard, tiger, cheetal, sambhar and reptiles.
This zone provides buffer forest to southern Corbett, comprising mostly of plantation forests.
For tourists, the National Park is opened between mid-November and mid-June. It is so because the rainfall is plentiful in the region and the roads are not in working conditions till the month of November. The best time to visit is between January and March as the months of November and December are little crowded and the weather is very hot from April to June.
How to Reach
The closest domestic airport to Corbett National Park is 50 kms away from Corbett National Park at Phoolbagh, Pantnagar. At 295 Km from Corbett National Park, the nearest International Airport is at Delhi.
The closest railway station to Corbett National Park is Ramnagar, which is 12 km from the Park. The Ranikhet Express plies between Delhi and Ramnagar, departing from Delhi at 10.50 pm and arriving at 4.35 am the next day. The train from here for Delhi begins at 9.05 pm, reaching Delhi at 5 am the next day.
Most people prefer to drive down to Corbett National Park. It takes approximately six hours from Delhi to cover the 295-km stretch. The route takes you through Gajraula, Moradabad, Kashipur and Ramnagar.
Stay / Eat
Where to Stay
The best accommodations here are the wildlife lodges and wildlife resorts nearby Jim Corbett Park.
These wildlife resort serves guests with vegetarian food and spacious and luxury accommodations. Guests are never disappointed with a stay in any wildlife resort near Jim Corbett National Park.
Some of the best examples of accommodation near Jim Corbett National Park include Corbett Jungle Club, Corbett Jungle Retreat, Tiger Camp Jungle Lodge, The Wild Crest Resort, Corbett Hideaway, Manu Maharani Resort, Corbett Riverside Resort and Corbett River View Retreat .